Local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has reacted angrily to the threat to steel industry jobs in Teesside following Tata’s decision to sell off its UK business.
“These jobs, and others at sites elsewhere in the country, face extinction because of EU policies which have led to this tragic state of affairs.
“The USA has imposed anti-dumping tariffs of 266% on Chinese steel but we have just tinkered around the edges with only up to 25% which has not helped our workers one jot,” said Mr Arnott.
“Our energy costs are high thanks our ridiculous commitment to unreliable renewable power sources and while there are calls for state aid that is a dead duck as it is not allowed under EU state aid rules.
“Previous generations would find the collapse in the British steel industry totally unbelievable. It is wrong that our hands are tied by Brussels and our government is not prepared to put the livelihood of British workers before foreign red tape,” said Mr Arnott.
“Only by leaving the EU can we put the Great back in Britain but even after Brexit our government will need to take the right decisions; I fear it will be a race against time for our steelworkers,” he added.